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 Post subject: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:30 am
Posts: 24
I want to make a real list of greatest Lyrical albums, a top 100. I want to put emphasis on newer music, too. I don't want to see endless Beatles or Bob Dylan albums. Please try and make only 3 albums per artist. I hope that you can help make a list. I will update shortly.

EDIT: Elbowing in on the first post, here is the current version of the list as it stands in the thread.

1. Bringing It All Back Home (Bob Dylan)
2. Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen)
3. Blood On The Tracks (Bob Dylan)
4. Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Leonard Cohen)
5. Late For The Sky (Jackson Browne)
6. On The Beach (Neil Young)
7. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob Dylan)
8. Dark Side Of The Moon (Roger Waters)
9. Quadrophenia (Pete Townsend)
10. Strange Days (Jim Morrison)
11. Imagine (John Lennon)
12. Blue (Joni Mitchell)
13. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme (Paul Simon)
14. Armed Forces (Elvis Costello)
15. Songs Of Love And Hate (Leonard Cohen)
16. Darkness On The Edge Of Town (Bruce Springsteen)
17. Blonde On Blonde (Bob Dylan)
18. Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young)
19. Astral Weeks (Van Morrison)
20. Who's Next (Pete Townsend)
21. The Doors (Jim Morrison)
22. Animals (Roger Waters)
23. Rubber Soul (Lennon/McCartney)
24. Imperial Bedroom (Elvis Costello)
25. Warren Zevon (Warren Zevon)
26. For Everyman (Jackson Browne)
27. After The Gold Rush (Neil Young)
28. Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) (Ray Davies)
29. Ladies Of The Canyon (Joni Mitchell)
30. Rain Dogs (Tom Waits)
31. The Velvet Underground & Nico (Lou Reed)
32. Graceland (Paul Simon)
33. The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street Shuffle (Bruce Springsteen)
34. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Bob Dylan)
35. The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (Ray Davies)
36. Tommy (Pete Townsend)
37. Jackson Browne (Jackson Browne)
38. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Nick Cave)
39. I'm Your Man (Leonard Cohen)
40. Excitable Boy (Warren Zevon)
41. The Smiths (Morrissey)
42. In Utero (Kurt Cobain)
43. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon)
44. Revolver (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison)
45. Tonight's The Night (Neil Young)
46. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Peter Gabriel)
47. Wish You Were Here (Roger Waters)
48. Exodus (Bob Marley)
49. Court & Spark (Joni Mitchell)
50. Vitalogy (Eddie Vedder)
51. Summertime Dream (Gordon Lightfoot)
52. London Calling (Joe Strummer)
53. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison)
54. Clouds (Joni Mitchell)
55. Sail Away (Randy Newman)
56. Moondance (Van Morrison)
57. Wildflowers (Tom Petty)
58. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon)
59. The Naked Ride Home (Jackson Browne)
60. Blood & Chocolate (Elvis Costello)
61. The Marshal Mathers LP (Eminem)
62. Sandinista! (Joe Strummer)
63. Days Of Future Passed (Justin Hayward)
64. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (Chuck D/Flava Flav)
65. Something Else (Ray Davies)
66. Abbey Road (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr)
67. Mule Variations (Tom Waits)
68. Tender Prey (Nick Cave)
69. The Queen Is Dead (Morrissey)
70. Songs From A Room (Leonard Cohen)
71. The Pretender (Jackson Browne)
72. For The Roses (Joni Mitchell)
73. Harvest (Neil Young)
74. The Wall (Roger Waters)
75. 12 Songs (Randy Newman)
76. The Message (Grandmaster Flash)
77. There Goes Rhymin' Simon (Paul Simon)
78. Nebraska (Bruce Springsteen)
79. Berlin (Lou Reed)
80. Buffalo Springfield Again (Buffalo Springfield)
81. This Year's Model (Elvis Costello)
82. John Wesley Harding (Bob Dylan)
83. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em (Rakim)
84. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
85. The Soft Parade (Jim Morrison)
86. The Wind (Warren Zevon)
87. The Who By Numbers (Pete Townsend)
88. The Rising (Bruce Springsteen)
89. Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
90. The Sounds Of Silence (Paul Simon)


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:16 pm 
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This list seems pointless. It's eventually going to come down to "I like these lyrics better, so this album is going to be above that one." Like it's probably the most arbitrary possible list. The Greatest Singer-Songwriter Albums would definitely provide a more accurate "greatest lyric albums" list than anything as subjective as this.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:41 pm 
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Posts: 24
That shouldn't happen, though. I can name countless albums not by singer-songwriters that have brilliant lyrics:

"We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" by Modest Mouse
"...Is A Real Boy" by Say Anything
"The Dark Side Of The Moon" by Pink Floyd
"I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" by Bright Eyes (practically singer-songwriter)
"In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel
"The Sunlandic Twins" by Of Montreal
"If You're Feeling Sinister" by Belle And Sebastian
"OK Computer" by Radiohead
"Moving Pictures" by Rush (only good lyrical Rush album, sorry guys)
"Vs." by Pearl Jam
"Hunky Dory" by David Bowie

Here are examples:

"FLY TRAPPED IN A JAR" by MODEST MOUSE from WE WERE DEAD BEFORE THE SHIP EVEN SANK (2007)

All part and parcel
Well, we're already dead
Well, it's probably been said
That it's always been said that

One wing isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
It isn't even enough to leave
One wing isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
It isn't even enough to leave

I'm gonna shake myself right out the door
I'm gonna kick myself when it's finally over
I'm gonna let my old bad self take over
I'm gonna move my arm out with my shoulder and

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough to leave
One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough to leave

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough to leave

First off, Gary was on trial and drunk before we'd left bed
As things got bad it wasn't hard to say that he had no idea
Well, I hadn't noticed, but the people really noticed that they really didn't want us around
So we all just opened up our mouths and walked to this town
Well, I was walking just a little bit sideways
And you were walking sideways, too
Well, I hadn't learned when a front door can be used
Here we go, sir

We had docked in dark, so we didn't read what the sign read
Though simple enough, to me it was tough: the ground needs to be fed
Well, I hadn't noticed, but the people really noticed that they really didn't want us around
So not a single one of us would ever leave town
Here we go, sir

Our bodies were laid out, they were laid for fifteen yards
Well, two feet above each of our heads there was a fly trapped in a jar
Well, I hadn't noticed, but the people really noticed that they really didn't want us around
So every single one of us fed the ground
Here we go now

One wing
One wing wasn't even enough
One wing
One wing wasn't even enough

All part and parcel
Well, it's probably been said
That's it's always been said
We were already dead




"YELLOW CAT (SLASH) RED CAT" by SAY ANYTHING from ...IS A REAL BOY (2004)

I watch my yellow cat invade my red cat in the yard
The feline war has raged for years, so I assumed it'd be too hard
For me to drive my foot between them, I would never risk the scratch
Just to prove to one or both of them a cat is just a cat

Again, I watch my cousin Greg watch MTV inside his home
He makes fun of the hip-hop videos from the couch he rides alone
Snug in the coushin of his cackling he forgets his looming doubts
He has relied on this for years, you will not yank the carpet out
No, no

These are my friends, this is who they have been for always
These are my days, this is how they stay, hey, hey
Hey, hey

Okay, check this out
I watch this dude, each night, same table, who creates and crumples up
His eyes are wide from sipping endlessly his endless coffee cup
He feeds me quotes, that lonely goat, I watch him grazing by himself
I will not stop him when he rambles; I'm becoming one myself

Lou is bugged and shot up with drugs, sweats this bird he hardly knows
All that he wants is to see someone he respects without their clothes
So like some hybrid mother slash lover she'd soothe and heal his wounds
And kiss them dying ears so softly that the reaper stops to swoon
Oh, please

These are my friends, this is who they have been for always
These are my days, this is how they stay
Hey, hey
These are my friends, this is who they remain forever
This is how we stay
Hey, hey
Hey, hey

Shit

I watch my yellow cat, hey, hey, I watch my yellow cat
I watch my yellow cat, hey, hey, I watch my yellow cat

I watch my neighbor's son play with his shotgun in the street
Think I'll blaze all day and marvel at the mass of food I eat
It's strange, I'm skinny when I'm standing but I'm Buddha when I sit
And if I'm truly so enlightened why'd I waste your time on it

As I look back at countless crossroads and the middle where I stay
Right up the beaten path to boredom where the fakest fucks get laid
By the faux-finest finds it's been that way, and goddamn you, how you stay
With every scummy, crummy hour of the scummy, crummy day
Hey, hey

These are my friends, this is who they have been for always
These are my days, this is how they stay
Hey, hey
These are my friends, this is who they remain forever
This is how we stay
Hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey




"TIME" by PINK FLOYD from THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (1973)

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No-one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation
Is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over
Thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire

Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells




"LUA" by BRIGHT EYES from I'M WIDE AWAKE, IT'S MORNING (2005)

I know that it is freezing but I think we have to walk
I keep waving at the taxis, they keep turning their lights off
But Julie knows a party at some actor's West side loft
Supplies are endless in the evening, by the morning they'll be gone

When everything is lonely I can be my own best friend
I'll get a coffee and the paper, have my own conversations
With the sidewalk and the pigeons and my window reflection
The mask I polish in the evening, by the morning, looks like shit

And I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss
So many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it
But me, I'm not a gamble
You can count on me to split
The love I sell you in the evening, by the morning, won't exist

You're looking skinny like a model with your eyes all painted black
Just keep going to the bathroom, always say you'll be right back
Well, it takes one to know one, kid, I think you've got it bad
But what's so easy in the evening, by the morning's such a drag

I've got a flask inside my pocket, we can share it on the train
And if you promise to stay conscious I will try and do the same
Well, we might die from medication but we sure killed all the pain
But what was normal in the evening, by the morning, seems insane

And I'm not sure what the trouble was that started all of this
The reasons all have run away but the feeling never did
It's not something I would recommend but it is one way to live
'Cuz what is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never is

It was so simple in the moonlight, now it's so complicated
It was so simple in the moonlight, so simple in the moonlight
So simple in the moonlight




"TWO-HEADED BOY" by NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL from IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA (1998)

Two-headed boy
All floating in glass
The sun, it has passed
Now it's blacker than black
I can hear as you tap on your jar
And I am listening to hear where you are
I am listening to hear where you are

Two-headed boy
Put on Sunday shoes
And dance 'round the room
To accordion keys
With the needle that sings in your heart
Catching signals that sound in the dark
Catching signals that sound

In the dark we will take off our clothes
And they'll be placing
Fingers through the notches in your spine
And when all is breaking
Everything that you could keep inside
Now your eyes ain't moving
Now they just lay there in their climb

Two-headed boy
With pulleys and weights
Creating a radio
Played just for two
In the parlor with a moon across her face
And through the music he sweetly displays
Silver speakers that sparkle all day
Made for his lover who's floating
And choking with her hands across her face

And in the dark we will take off our clothes
And they'll be placing
Fingers through the notches in your spine
And when all is breaking
Everything that you could keep inside
Now your eyes ain't moving
Now they just lay there in their climb

Two-headed boy
There's no reason to grieve
The world that you need
Is wrapped in gold-silver sleeves
Left beneath Christmas trees in the snow
And I will take you and leave you alone
Watching spirals of white softly flow
Over your eyelids and all you did
Will wait until the point when you let go




"WRAITH PINNED TO THE MIST AND OTHER GAMES" by OF MONTREAL from THE SUNLANDIC TWINS (2005)

Let's have bizarre celebrations
Let's forget who forget what forget where
We'll have bizarre celebrations
I'll play the Satyr in Cypris
You, the bride being stripped bare

Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica

Let's have bizarre celebrations
Let's forget when forget what forget how
We'll have bizarre celebrations
We'll play Tristan and Izolde
But make sure I see white sails, sails

Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica

Maybe I'll never die
I'll just keep growing younger with you
And you'll grow younger, too
Now it seems too lovely to be true
But I know the best things always do

Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica
Let's pretend we don't exist
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica




"GET ME AWAY FROM HERE, I'M DYING" by BELLE AND SEBASTIAN from IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER (1996)

Oh, get me away from here, I'm dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us

With our winning smiles and us
With our catchy tunes, oh us
Now we're photogenic
You know we don't stand a chance

Oh, I'll settle down with some old story
About a boy who's just like me
Thought there was love in everything and everyone
You're so naive
They always reach a sorry ending
They alwasy get it in the end
Still, it was worth it
As I turned the pages solemnly, and then

With a winning smile, the boy
With naivety succeeds
At the final moment I cried
I always cry at endings
I always cry at endings

Oh, that wasn't what I meant to say at all
From where I'm sitting, rain
Falling against the lonely tenement
Has set my mind to wander
Into the windows of my lovers
They never know unless I write:
"This is no declaration
I just thought I'd let you know goodbye"

Said the hero in the story,
"It is mightier than swords
I could kill you, sure
But I could only make you cry with these words"
Cry with these words
Cry with these words
Cry with these words

Oh, get me away, I'm dying
Get me away, I'm dying
Get me away, I'm dying
Get me away, I'm dying
Oh, I'm dying
Oh, I'm dying, yeah
Oh, I'm dying, yeah
Oh, get me away, I'm dying
Get me away, I'm dying
Get me away, I'm dying
Get me away, I'm dying
Oh, I'm dying
Oh, I'm dying




"NO SURPRISES" by RADIOHEAD from OK COMPUTER (1997)

A heart that's full up like a landfill
A job that slowly kills you
Bruises that won't heal

You look so tired, unhappy
Bring down the government
They don't, they don't speak for us

I'll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide
With no alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
Silent
Silent

This is my final fit
My final bellyache
With no alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises, please

Such a pretty house
And such a pretty garden
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises, please




"TOM SAWYER" by RUSH from MOVING PICTURES (1981)

A modern day warrior
Mean, mean stride
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean, mean pride

Though his mind is not for rent
Don't put him down as arrogant
His reserve, a quiet defense
Riding out the day's events
The river

What you say about his company
Is what you say about society
Catch the mist, catch the myth
Catch the mystery, catch the drift

The world is, the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his skies are wide

Today's Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
In the space he invades
He gets by on you

Though his mind is not for rent
To any God or government
Always hopeful yet discontent
He knows changes aren't permanent
But change is

And what you say about his company
Is what you about society
Catch the witness, catch the wit
Catch the spirit, catch the spit

The world is, the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his eyes are wide

Exit the warrior
Today's Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
And the energy you trade
He gets right on to the friction of the day




"DAUGHTER" by PEARL JAM from VS. (1993)

Alone, listless
Breakfast table in an otherwise empty room
Young girl, violence
Center of her own attention
The mother reads aloud
Child tries to understand it
Tries to make her proud
The shades go down
It's in her head
Painted room
Can't deny
There's something wrong

Don't call me daughter
Not fit to
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me daughter
Not fit to
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me

She holds the hand that holds her down
She will rise above

Don't call me daughter
Not fit to
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me daughter
Not fit to be
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me daughter
Not fit to
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me daughter
Not fit to be
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me

The shades go down
The shades go down
The shades go, go




"LIFE ON MARS?" by DAVID BOWIE from HUNKY DORY (1971)

It's a God awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling, "No!"
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is no where to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen

But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best-selling show
Is there life on Mars

It's on America's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cuz Lennon's on sale again
See the mice in their million hoards
From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns

But the film is a saddening bore
'Cuz I wrote it ten times or more
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best-selling show
Is there life on Mars


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:27 pm 
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There are great lyricists who aren't "singer songwriters", but this would be a very hard list to make. The lyricists list is hard enough to do objectively, but I think this would be even more so. About all you could is list the greatest albums by the greatest lyricists.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Brian wrote:
There are great lyricists who aren't "singer songwriters", but this would be a very hard list to make. The lyricists list is hard enough to do objectively, but I think this would be even more so. About all you could is list the greatest albums by the greatest lyricists.


This is essentially what I was saying. There's no way in hell this could be anything but a subjective rendering of the tastes of DigitalDreamDoor.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Posts: 200
Quote:
I want to put emphasis on newer music, too.

Influence, impact, and popularity are major parts of the criteria of greatest around here. Newer artists lack those since they've had little time to get their foot in the door.

Quote:
I don't want to see endless Beatles or Bob Dylan albums. Please try and make only 3 albums per artist
I may be a new comer, but I was under the impression that this site's purpose was to make a true as possible list of greatest. I think that if truely the 100 greatest albums of all time were written by Bob Dylan then by golly, the top 100 list should be nothing but Bob Dylan.

Really, what I want to see is a list of the most skilled lyrical albums, not based on influence, popularity, or impact. Just based on the quality of the lyrics. Probably impossible to do, but hey a guy can dream, can't he?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:42 am 
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Just want to point out firstly that Bright Eyes and Neutral Milk Hotel are singer/songwriter artists.

Secondly, agree with what everyone above is saying, it's virtually impossible to do as lyrics are pretty hard to define for their popularity and to a lesser extent influence and impact.

I do agree with you that in case of lyrics, new artists can be considered, but Bob Dylan and Neil Young top the all-time top lyricists list for a reason.

Also, I find it strange you criticised Dylan on the other thread for a lot of his songs not making sense, yet praise In the Aeroplane Over the Sea when Jeff Mangum's lyrical style is very, very similar (to a point almost past homage) to Dylan's electric trilogy.

If you want a list of lyricists which contain some of the artists you mnention you might want to have a go at creating a "100 Greatest Alternative Lyricists" list on the Alternative forum. That would be pretty cool and I'd definitely help with that.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Well, people judge poetry and novels. It's merely poetry and you can easily judge the influence and brilliance of certain songs and artists just the same. It's not really any more or less relevant than any other lists. Honestly if we have a greatest lyricist page why can't we have a greatest lyrical albums page?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:35 pm 
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And Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes are bands with a large emphasis on the frontman as a singer/songwriter, but still are bands. Bright Eyes has become mostly a solo front for Conor Oberst, but Neutral Milk Hotel was entirely an indie rock band with psychedelic folk tendencies.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:05 pm 
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You can be a band and make singer/songwriter music and NMH and Bright Eyes definitely do. It's more what the music is built around than a solo artist. You wouldn't count Hendrix as a singer/songwriter for example.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:52 pm 
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Quote:
Well, people judge poetry and novels. It's merely poetry and you can easily judge the influence and brilliance of certain songs and artists just the same.


But how can you say one artist or song is more brilliant than the other? It's easy to tell who's the more brilliant lyricist between Bob Dylan and Steve Miller, but it's a bit more difficult when the artists are closer in brilliance, and that matters A LOT on a list of the most brilliant. Who's to say Lou Reed is a more brilliant lyricist than Thom Yorke? Or vice versa? If you really want to make a list like this, come up with some criteria we can all agree on and take it from there.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Well, how about:

Originality - How original the style is (self-explanatory). (ex: Bob Dylan)
Influence - How many people tried (and failed) to repeat the style. (ex: Black Francis (always chose him over Kurt Cobain, I find Kurt a ripoff))
Poetry - Use of metaphors, similes, and just an overall feeling of language complexity. (ex: Bob Dylan)
Flow - Does the album's lyrics flow well? Do they intermingle and mean something to another song? Concept albums? All good lyrics or just some standouts? (ex: Roger Waters)
Storytelling - Although this depends on artists, if they are trying, does it tell a flourished story? (ex: Leonard Cohen)
Concepts - How meaningful the lyrics are and how well thought out they are. (ex: Morrissey)
Wit - The more lines that could be quotable the better, especially if they are clever. (ex: Isaac Brock)
Abstract Power - Even songs that mean nothing can seem powerful and flexible, if done right. (ex: Jeff Mangum). Notable no-goes (ex: Damon Albarn (at least from Gorillaz, great band but shit lyrics).

A special note is I want to put an "all-around great for their genre style." In other words, if the band has done great lyrical achievements in an otherwise rather bland lyrical genre. An example would be Max Bemis of Say Anything and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed And Cambria for brilliant lyrical achievements in the basic pop-punk and emo genres (however more progressive the two bands may be).

Establish all of these when deciding an album and I will try to moderate it and send it as an official list.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:47 pm 
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There's a lot of subjectivity in those criteria in general, but I would especially question these 2 criteria:

PsychedelicWarrior wrote:
Abstract Power - Even songs that mean nothing can seem powerful and flexible, if done right. (ex: Jeff Mangum). Notable no-goes (ex: Damon Albarn (at least from Gorillaz, great band but shit lyrics).


A lyrical albums list should be a list of albums notable at least partly because of their lyrics, and these 2 criteria look like ways to include albums that aren't notable for their lyrics.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:02 am 
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I understand what you're trying to say. What it means is that the song doesn't have to be easily decipherable to be considered great. And I don't know what part of the world you live in where Neutral Milk Hotel isn't known for it's lyrics.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyrical Albums
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:09 pm 
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alright, you're getting there. One problem I have is how we're going to measure certain criteria. For example, It's rather easy to measure Originality (just point out how many times similar styles have appeared before the artist in question), but what about criteria such as storytelling and wit?

How can you measure who is a better storyteller? As an example, who's the better storyteller?: Nick Cave or Tom Waits?

Also, some of the criteria seems vague to me. Such as concepts. What do you mean by more meaningful.

edit: Another thing I forgot to mention. How is the criteria going to be weighted? Are you just going to give the higher spot to whoever takes the most criteria or are some of the criteria going to count for more than others? If John Lennon is more influential but Tom Waits takes everything else, would Waits go higher than Lennon?


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